15 Sep 2006
The Muslim Council of Britain is deeply disturbed that the Pope Benedict XVI in his speech on Sept 12 to the University of Regensburg in Germany did not explicitly repudiate the passage he quoted from the 14th century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus.
The Pope quoted from a text in which the Byzantine emperor referred to the teachings of the blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as being ‘only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’
“The Byzantine emperor’s views about Islam were ill-informed and frankly bigoted. One would expect a religious leader such as the Pope to act and speak with responsibility and repudiate the Byzantine emperor’s views in the interests of truth and harmonious relations between the followers of Islam and Catholicism. Regrettably, the Pope did not do so and this has understandably caused a lot of dismay and hurt throughout the Muslim world. We would hope that the Pope will clarify his remarks without delay,” said Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.[ends]